In Whitby I noticed the teenage girls
who lined the long, Bank Holiday quayside.
Amongst the noise, their young faces serene,
they stood with siblings, step dads, always mam.
The sun shone from their hair - some dark, some blonde,
they wore makeup they did not need.
For the eye is always drawn towards youth.
I noticed too a kind of uniform,
skinny jeans, leggings, flesh revealing tops.
Though it was the lines they held that caught me.
The orange lines that ran from their young hands.
Bright, twisted twine that vanished in the depths
of the inky harbour waters that lay
before them like a still, unlived future.
Crabbing at Whitby, their faces were set
in concentration and female patience.
The patience their grandmothers had needed
when the glass fell and the wind rose at night.
Today though they tended their baited lines,
silent, awaiting the unseen quarry.
Quarry they'd keep in water-filled buckets
of brightly coloured, cheap, cheerful plastic.
To me the whole thing seemed somewhat pointless
competing to see who could catch the most,
catch the biggest of these vicious creatures.
Who'd attack them at every given chance
drawing the blood from their innocent hearts.
Until the metaphor revealed itself.
The girls' lives were now turning like the tide,
the boys like ***** were circling the bait.